19 October 2011

Les Amanins

Last August I attended one of the best educational workshop I could find in France.
I heard about this "Ecole du Colibri" while reading Pierre Rabhi's books and watching the great documentary by Coline Serreau called "Solutions locales pour un desordre global".

I heard about the school and the documentary they made about their school. I got so impressed that I called them up and signed up for their workshop. 
The learning style was something I personally never heard of.
 It is called " Cooperative pedagogy" and could be defined like this ::

This pedagogy of the project allows students to enter an experimental approach in which he constructs hypotheses, edited, modifiesenriched with direct knowledge of the meaning and which would be usefulThey are encouraged to work in partnership with others to collaborative work to achieve a common goal. It is this "common purposeis the theme of the project and gives meaning to the actions taken. The teacher is there to supervise, support and especially not to work in place of the student. He supervises and directs the child if it gets lost or discouraged.

Since September 2006, the project includes Amanins of an elementary school. One of the objectives that had set the association: "the education of future generations to respect for the individual and the environment" and past experience of  Isabelle Peloux, wife of Michel Valentin and active member of project, spurred the creation of this school. Isabelle Peloux, formerly a teacher in the Lyon region, was felt with great dismay the gradual disappearance of the link between school and human activities. The establishment of a school in which learning integrated with life and actually make sense for it was a kind of dream. The project Amanins with its diversity of activities: agriculture, construction, energy ... the natural setting in which it occurs, and professionals from all sectors that circle was the perfect opportunity to realize this dream, for to emerge from the earth that allows a school to work on the problem of "what children we leave to our planet"
This school took the name "School of the hummingbird," referring to the tale of South America often quoted by Pierre Rabhi in his lectures:
"One day, says the legend, there was a huge forest fire. All animals terrified and appalled watching helplessly disaster. Only small hummingbird was busy, fetching a few drops of water in its beak to throw on the fire. After a moment, the armadillo, annoyed by his actions ridiculous, said "Colibri!You're not crazy! You think it's with these drops of water are you going to put out the fire? "The hummingbird replied then," I know, but I do my part. "Legend has it that each animal be concerned that their own way did his part and that the forest was saved! "
The moral of this tale is that individual actions no matter how small it is important. The school's Colibri is a place where we seek the smallest possible thing to improve, change to evolve in her work and go to the other.
You will understand that school is not an ordinary school. The service differs from conventional schools.

We started slowly implementing it at home. 
It does not come "natural". 
It is something you need time and effort to make it part of way of living. 
But it is so worth it !

Thank you,  Isabelle for all your kindness in sharing your experience with us.
Thank you for all the fun we had playing the "cooperatives games".
I hope to come back next year.

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